Interview with Chad Dappert of All Seasons Electric Vehicles

Jan 05, 2015 View Comments by

Interview with Chad Dappert of All Seasons Electric VehiclesMost motorcyclists have come to realize that electric bikes are destined to be a part of the future of motorcycling. Companies like Zero and Brammo have been selling battery-powered bikes for several years now, and consumers may believe that one of these bikes is their only option if they want to leave gasoline behind. There is, however, an alternative. Chad Dappert, owner of All Seasons Electric Vehicles, takes traditionally powered motorcycles and converts them to run on electrons.

RoadRUNNER: Tell us how All Seasons EV got started.
Chad Dappert: Through the desire to have a more cost effective, more reliable vehicle that suits its intended use and has the ability to be charged from multiple sources. The idea is to offer a real alternative, not just a replacement, at far less cost.

RR: What’s your electrical and engineering background?
CD: I am entirely self-taught, which allows me to not be corrupted by many of the pervading schools of thought.

RR: Describe your first EV project.
CD: My first EV was a 1994 Big Wheel 80 with a six speed and an underpowered electric motor. But it was still able to spin the wheel in sixth gear with a 160-pound man on board. Power came from a 12-volt car battery.

cr125RR: What made you want to junk perfectly good internal combustion engines in favor of electric ones?
CD: We rarely convert good running vehicles, but we do work hard to return your much-loved dead vehicle back to useable condition as electric.

RR: Take us through the process of converting a bike from gas to electric.
CD: We first remove all petroleum related components and then establish the performance standards the customer requires. We then design a system to match.

RR: What kind of performance can you achieve?
CD: We can achieve the core performance of nearly any vehicle and from there explore expanded capacity by spending more dollars.

RR: Why would someone want to convert an old bike instead of buying a new Zero or similar?
CD: To keep what is familiar and perhaps of sentimental value and to save money.

RR: What are some of your favorite builds thus far?
CD: My favorite is the 2011 Polaris Raxor 800 electric, then a 1999 Big Wheel 80, also my 1995 Ford F-250 4×4, a 1999 Honda CR125, and, of course, one of the best is a 1964 Massey Ferguson 35 Deluxe tractor.

RR: How much does it cost?
CD: Cost is determined by the performance level and size of a vehicle. For instance, a small unit with lead acid batteries can be as cheap as $3,500 while a larger vehicle may cost between $7,500-$8,500, and the cost is about 30-percent more with lithium batteries.

RR: Are some bikes better or easier to convert than others? What makes an ideal conversion candidate?
CD: Typically a large chain drive four stroke is the best candidate, but we can build from anything.

martys bike2RR: What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric power?
CD: The advantages are being able to charge almost anywhere at less cost than gas. There is less maintenance required and the bikes are much quieter. Disadvantages are that charging takes longer than refueling. Lead batteries have an expected life span of 300-500 charge cycles.

RR: What kind of maintenance is required of an electric motorcycle?
CD: The maintenance on an electric motorcycle amounts to lubing the chain and, depending on whether the bike uses brushed or non-brushed motors, you only have to change the brushes and bearings as needed.

RR: How does an EV function in rain, is there any danger?
CD: Operating in the rain is not an issue at all. We have played and tested in rain, mud, and snow. We use direct current drive systems on most units, and it has not presented any issues to date.

RR: Where can you charge the batteries while traveling?
CD: Charging the batteries can be achieved at any 110-volt outlet and by solar panels, if you so choose.

RR: Where do you see the future of electric vehicle technology going?
CD: Electric vehicle technology can go far beyond today’s vision and exceed our expectations if only it is allowed to flourish. Electric vehicles have grown faster and developed more in the past 10 years than petroleum vehicles in the past 100 years. Remember, electric cars were here first. Baker Motor Vehicles produced electric cars in Cleveland, OH, up until 1914. The Mars Rover is a remote controlled EV; New York’s subways, San Francisco’s street cars, and golf carts are all EVs too.


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